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Calisthenics Exercises with Resistance Bands You Can Practice Anywhere!

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Calisthenics Exercises with Resistance Bands You Can Practice Anywhere!

Since ancient times, human beings have performed calisthenics exercises in the pursuit of both aesthetics and fitness. First recorded in practice by the Ancient Greeks, thousands of years ago, calisthenics exercises are designed to work your body against its own weight to build muscle, improve strength, and define body shape.

Many calisthenics exercises are 'basic' yet significant body movements that you probably already know, including push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches. These classic exercises are proven to work, however. And with bands for exercisesyou can make the movements either easier or more challenging to progress at your own pace.

In this article, we take a look at the basic definition of calisthenics and its benefits before running through our top calisthenics exercises!

What are calisthenics exercises?

Even if you've never heard the word 'calisthenics,' it's safe to say that you already know how to practice a few calisthenics exercises, at least in their most basic forms.

Advanced calisthenics requires lifting the body into challenging positions such as human flags or handstands. Classic calisthenics involves more subtle exercises such as dips and pull-ups. The idea behind calisthenics is simply to work out against your body weight, with the ultimate goal being to master and control your body weight.

As we've already mentioned, calisthenics was first recorded in practice by the Ancient Greeks. The word itself is derived from Ancient Greek, loosely translating directly to mean 'Beautiful Strength.' The exercises themselves can be traced back to Spartans and Athenians, who developed rigorous training systems in the pursuit of human aesthetics or for physically demanding war.

Calisthenics exercises today

Today, calisthenics exercises are some of the most effective exercises you can regularly practice to build muscle and gain strength. Indeed, the military still uses calisthenics exercises, such as push-ups, to judge how in shape a person is. After all, if you can't lift your own body weight, you aren't much use in the military!

You can easily incorporate individual calisthenics exercises into your existing strength training regimes, or you can put together a dedicated and targeted calisthenic exercise list to really focus on working out against your body's weight.

What calisthenics benefits can I hope to achieve?

Calisthenics exercises have a vast range of potential benefits when performed regularly.

As well as helping to build muscle mass, calisthenics will help you to create a healthier, more defined body. Beginners can improve their strength and work towards lifting their entire body weight for multiple repetitions. More advanced calisthenic practitioners can work towards acrobatics and lifting their bodies into more unusual positions!

The bodily shape and definition produced through these exercises are much more natural than working out against free weights or weight machines. The movements are varied, and you can even incorporate resistance bands for more targeted workouts.

Calisthenics benefits

Of course, calisthenic results will depend on what your goals are and how frequently you practice.

Here is a list of the most important benefits that you can hope to see:

  • Build more muscle and improve strength and fitness.
  • Learn to lift your own body weight.
  • Improve functional strength, mobility, and flexibility.
  • Progress to more advanced bodyweight movements.
  • Define muscles for a more 'natural' body shape, in comparison to weightlifting.
  • Create a varied calisthenics routine that can focus on the entire body.
  • Exercise anywhere, at any time.
  • Use resistance bands to make exercises easier or more difficult.

Beginner calisthenics workout with resistance bands

There are many great calisthenics exercises that even complete beginners can quickly get to grips with and quickly master. For novices, many of the best exercises are classic bodyweight movements such as push-ups and crunches, which help to build strength as you work out against your own body mass.

These exercises can often be challenging to perform for lots of repetitions when you're just starting. Keep practicing, and the results will soon appear, however. Resistance bands can help you to improve your technique and form, while also adding extra resistance to the exercise itself as you progress.

The following exercises all make use of resistance bands. We suggest performing one circuit first to see how many reps you can pull off. Adjust your target rep count accordingly, to be just under your max. Try to do at least 8 reps, to begin. Aim to complete this circuit 3 times, with a break in between each circuit.

Remember to warm up with light stretching before commencing these circuits.

Use a light resistance band for the banded exercises.

Beginner calisthenics workout

  1. Plank hold for at least 30 seconds.
  2. 8 x resistance band squats.
  3. 8 x resistance band lunges (on both legs.)
  4. 8 x banded push-ups.
  5. 8 x banded leg raises.
  6. 20 x mountain climbers (on each leg.)
  7. 8 x banded push-ups.

If you can't complete all of this workout, don't get too down on yourself! Building muscle takes time and consistent repetitions to make a difference.

Just continue working hard every chance you get, and you'll be amazed at the difference in your performance over time.

Intermediate calisthenics workout with resistance bands

As the beginner circuit becomes much easier, begin increasing the difficulty of the exercises by adding in stronger resistance bands, offering much more resistance to work out against. As you become stronger, you can then start to move onto more advanced workouts.

The following intermediate calisthenics workout routine requires a pull-up bar and resistance bands. If you aren't yet able to do an entire pull-up in one movement, then work on increasing your strength and improving your technique with assisted pull-ups.

Loop a long pull up assist band around your body and allow it to take the strain as you practice the movements and gain strength in these specific muscles - you'll find it's much easier to do a complete pull up when you're supported!

As your fitness improves, aim to perform an entirely unsupported pull-up successfully. For push-ups, however, increase the strength of the band as you work out against more resistance and build bigger muscles!

Try to go through at least 3 circuits of the following workout routine in one session. To make things more challenging, try to max out the number of reps you can safely perform on the last circuit! It's a killer!

Remember to warm up with light stretching before commencing these circuits.

Intermediate calisthenics workout

  1. 7 x close handed pull-ups
  2. 5 x pull-ups
  3. 6 x dips
  4. 15 x banded push-ups
  5. 5 x leg raises
  6. 10 x resistance band squats
  7. 7 x wide handed pull-ups

You can progress to even more advanced calisthenics exercises as you improve your fitness and strength. Before you can safely start performing acrobatic movements, however, you need to be able to safely and efficiently lift your own body weight. For this, it's essential to focus on pull-ups and push-ups when you're first starting out on your calisthenics journey.

Resistance bands really can help you to become better at calisthenics. They'll help you to progress from novice moves to advanced moves more efficiently, which will help you to keep the routines varied when you're at that intermediate stage!

The final say on calisthenics exercises!

Calisthenics exercises are a fantastic way to build muscle and to improve your strength in a functional, more natural way than can be achieved using gym equipment or free weights. Calisthenics helps to improve your fitness, your mobility, and your flexibility as well as simply building muscle.

Ultimately, calisthenics allows you to be in control of your body mass, providing you with the ability to lift your bodyweight!

Why not start including calisthenics exercises and calisthenics exercises with resistance bands in your workout routines?

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Katherine is a CrossFit expert with humble origins. Starting out on a ranch, ever since she was nine, she spent most of her life roping and competing in team roping. After finding bodyweight exercises interesting she sought after a career in CrossFit and dedicated her life towards achieving the body of her dreams. Today Katherine is a personal trainer that loves to travel the world and change the lives of her clients.

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